Avoiding Social Media Burnout

Burnout on social media is sure to happen to everybody occasionally. While it’s important to share content and engage with followers regularly to maintain a strong engagement rate, giving ourselves a break is even more important.

Even though social media is on 24/7, we should not be. Developing good social media habits can help us to be more productive, and happier. The constant pressure we feel to multitask makes us less productive and can lead to burnout. Learning to concentrate on work or family or whatever needs to be done for 20-25 minute blocks of time allows most of us to focus better, and ultimately, be more productive.

Here’s some practical ways to work on self-care and help maintain good mental and physical health without stunting social media growth.

1. Take a Break – it’s ok to unplug from social media, especially when you’re on vacation. Give yourself permission not to worry about it for a few days or even a week. Life it too short and it’s more important to live in the moment, especially when you’re spending time with family, friends and your dog!

Your social media will be there when you get back, and even if you lose a few followers, don’t worry. Anyone who unfollows you while you’re on a short break isn’t your ideal follower anyway. Time to move on and focus on attracting your ideal followers. Some people unplug entirely when they’re away, and others will pop in just to engage on other peoples’ post. Whatever you decide, rest assured that it really is ok to take a break.

Lots of people take certain days of the week off like Saturday, Sunday or even Monday. Typically, weekends are slower on social media anyway, so it’s an ideal time to recharge your batteries. Others take a vacation break (like a few days or even 1-2 weeks) and it doesn’t hurt their overall engagement. If you must post while you’re taking a break, try using a scheduling app (like FB Creator or Later) to post while on vacation, and just pop in to reply to comments.

Do you have to apologize for taking a break when you get back? NO, you really don’t, and you shouldn’t. The truth is that most people probably won’t even notice that you’ve been gone, no offense. When you get back, don’t make excuses for “not posting” or say that you were taking a break, just post your amazing content and move on.

2. Turn Off Notifications – constantly receiving notifications from your social media apps that so-and-so posted, or that you have 100 DM’s is only adding stress to your life. Ask yourself whether you really need to see these notifications or if you’d be better off just catching up when you log back into your social media.

For what it’s worth, I have all notifications turned off on my social media apps.

Chances are that you can live without knowing how many people posted on Instagram, Tweeted something you just have to see or gone viral on Tiktok.  Seriously, it will be there when you go back on social.

Letting go of the FOMO may save you a lot of stress in the long run and help you to start actually enjoying social media again. There’s no substitute for having a better work-life balance and feeling recharged.

3. Block Your Time – just like answering emails at work, dedicating blocks of time to batch produce content, and engage on social media is critical to avoiding burnout. If we’re constantly popping into Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc. to check our vanity metrics, respond to comments, engage with others, post stories, etc. we never get away from the competition on social media. It’s hard enough to keep up with job pressure and family life but having the constant pressure of performing well on social media just isn’t healthy.

While it’s important to engage with people on social media when posting (and, even for a few minutes before posting, especially on Instagram Reels, for example), we don’t have to be in and out all day and night. While Instagram and other social want to keep us on their platforms as long as possible, it’s really important and efficient to set specific times of the day to spend on social media and then be like your dog and “leave it.” 

Try setting some 15-30 minutes limits on yourself a few times a day for when you can engage on social media. And as for content planning, it’s much more efficient to set aside blocks of time on your calendar for a few hours or even a few days a month to batch plan and create content.

And finally, it goes without saying that taking a break to walk, train, cuddle and play with your dog can be the best mental health break ever.